Super Metroid: Z-Factor
Release date: Nov 30, 2012
Author: Metaquarius
Download: Version 1.3 [UH] (1397 downloads)
Download: Version 1.2 [UH] (710 downloads)
Download: Version 1.1 [UH] (694 downloads)
Download: Version 1.0 [UH] (716 downloads)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: SM
Difficulty: Veteran [?]
Average runtime: 9:32
Average collection: 71%
Read Me: Readme
Forum thread: Forum Thread
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
Other Links: Teaser
Full Map
This hack is a complete make over of planet Zebes level-design wise, very few rooms actually look like they used to be. The planet is a little bigger now, it still relies on the original region structure but layed out differently. The gameplay is unchanged, no new abilities or stuff like that.

However, there're numerous small ASM changes, mainly on PLM and enemies so as to keep the player interested in exploring. Item progression and item count has been slightly altered. Sequence breaking is also possible to some extent (might not be as permissive as SM tough)

This is hack is more difficult than the original game but special/advanced techniques are NOT required to beat it.
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Ratings and Reviews
By thedopefish on Mar 31, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 9:49
Great hack. It's huge, full of places to explore, and pleasing to look at. There's some neat custom stuff in here too. Oh, and bar none the best Tourian in any hack ever.

There are some things to complain about though. You're going to get trolled by crumble blocks more than once, there's one or two rooms that are just evil. And most significantly, sometimes the required path forward is well hidden. This is made worse by the fact that you have so much of the map accessible to you, and it's not always clear where you should be searching. The worst offenders are the first visit to Norfair, and of course the famous Zaridia.

In the end, the good overpowers the bad and I highly recommend giving it a playthrough.
By MetroidMst on Mar 31, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 13:23
Z-Factor is a masterpiece. It strikes a near perfect balance of challenge and exploration in a massive new world. This is everything that a hack should want to be.

There is a large amount of exploration, a lot of secrets hidden throughout, and what is easily the greatest Tourian ever made. There are some potential cons for the average player. The hack is not easy and will challenge the player. The size and amount of twisted exploration and path finding required might turn some off too. There are a large number of spikes, and a few troll spots thrown in for good measure as well. But in spite of those, the hack shines as a sterling example of an amazing hack done with mostly vanilla resources.

And of course, the first blind playthrough of Zaridia is a memory to cherish forever. Highly recommend you check the hack out. The latest version makes some things easier, but I also suggest the 1.0 patch for the full affect of the original creation.
By FullOfFail on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Very well-done hack that's faithful to the tile-placement of the original, yet still has a completely different experience. It's really just kinda in it's own genre that's you'd have to play to understand. Recommended.
By Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm bringing down the rating on this one. Know why? It's not the god-like hack some people might tell you it is. It has the open-ended exploration of Ice Metal, but not the assurance of mind that you won't get dropped into a stupid situation at any door you deign to enter. It has a cut-out sequence of progression, but good luck trying to find your way forward at certain points in the game - more than likely you'll find yourself lost in a sea of hallways and dead-ends that contain nasty slip-ups capable of sending you back ten, twenty minutes of progress, or more on a death. I'm fairly sure I reached all the way to Gravity, personally, but I'm still not sure if I actually completed the hack in its entirety; that's a testament to the far-reaching complexity only the hack's author seems to understand. It was still an effort on his part, though, and something to be explored if you have both the time and the patience!
By Bloodsonic on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack frustrates me. Frequent design flaws in the levels that punish the player just for walking forward (anti-sonic rooms, crumble blocks that require savestates to get around if you don't want to suddenly lose 5+ rooms worth of progress, etc.) and the levels are uninteresting once you get over the shiny new enemies that woo you up to morphball and then proceed to disappear.

The hype goes over my head. It's a brand new world, but it sucks and can't really be played without a map. Pass.
By Jefe962 on Apr 03, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Don't get me wrong. Z-Factor is a great hack, compared to a lot of the junk we see today. I understand effort of all kinds has been placed into the hack itself, for example the many, many strange happenings at the start of the game. Very cool. Later on though, Z-Factor just seems like one larger, harder, ordinary Full Hack, not an Overhaul. Why? Because the many happenings from the beginning of the game become less frequent, and it somewhat feels that Meta puts less effort into the middle sections of the hack. Some rooms with spikes and Crumble blocks placed, a sign of little to no inspiration. Little to no hint of progression, leaving the player Stumped upon where to go, seeing as the world is so open and the progression is changed. Though Tourian was indeed the highlight of the hack, I wouldn't put this on my play list.
By squishy_ichigo on Apr 11, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By Vismund Cygnus on Apr 20, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By jamos05 on Oct 04, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 13:12
Solid hack. Very polished level design, although a bit too unforgiving. If you pay close attention you can usually figure out where to go next. Except for Maridia -- that was one point where I couldn't even figure out where to go with a map.

But overall, progression is great. Interesting mechanics are peppered throughout the game at a good pace. The difficulty is challenging but not exactly punishing, which is a great place to be. Fill that with some interesting sequences and departures from the vanilla game, and you have yourself a winner.
By CaptainIronMan on Dec 14, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack reminds me of the first time I played Super Metroid. I died a lot, didn't know where to go, and it took me a long time to finish. But after finishing it, I wanted to play it again, and when I did, it was a lot easier. This hack is pretty difficult at the beginning, but it eases up after you start collecting major items. Exploration is nice, there is an intended path, but there are also sequence breaks that aren't too difficult to pull off (kind of like vanilla Super Metroid).

I highly recommend this hack to anyone who has at least beat the original Super Metroid. This hack can help you increase your skills as a SM player.

By the way, this hack has the BEST Tourian by far out of any hack I have seen or played. It is easily the best part of the hack. I won't spoil anything because the best way to experience it is to play it without knowing anything other than that it is AMAZING.

Also, super secret room is so rewarding...
By retroknuckles on Feb 20, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack feels like if Nintendo would make Super Metroid 2, designed it a vanilla way but stil feels fresh. Fucking amazing best hack out so far (2016).
By Foxhound3857 on Oct 24, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 9:47
Fun hack and well-designed in terms of combat, tiling, and the overall size and layout of the world, but frustrating as all hell because of the Milon's Secret Castle-esque style to it. It shouldn't be so convoluted to find the intended path forward. Lower Norfair was obnoxious in this regard, almost every room required an unintuitive, roundabout approach while getting to Ridley. Did navigating rooms really have to be this painstakingly challenging? Couldn't it be a little more...straightforward?

Also, while Tourian was indeed fantastic, the escape was a bit overly challenging too. Either the time limit should be increased, or the animals should be easier to get to. Without tool assistance, saving the animals is damn near impossible with how out of the way they are.
By Aran;Jaeger on Dec 07, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 11:06
Animals saved.
By Lenophis on Dec 11, 2016 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I was told to try out 1.0 first. That got me as far as pre-Wrecked Ship cause yay blind grapple jumps! Not before other frustrating things, but it was at least semi-tolerable up to that point. I would then update to the latest version, which is 1.3 as of this posting. The blind grapple jumps were easier, but still incredibly annoying to pull off.

Then came the Wrecked Ship itself.


One section of the ship has you traversing through a morph tunnel with unavoidable crumble blocks. Falling below nets you a round-trip back through the Wrecked Ship which requires more suitless underwater shenanigans. After several attempts to bombjump across, I threw my arms up in frustration and said "no" to this hack.

Would not recommend.
By kojakt on Feb 11, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is one of the first full hacks that I completed, and is still one of my favorites. To me, Z-factor is like the Super Metroid version of "Ocarina of Time: Master Quest". It's is larger, and more difficult, but not to an extreme degree. It is both familiar and different at the same time. There are places where you might want to cheat a little bit and find out your next move by asking around or finding some information online, but, for the most part, a little exploration will eventually take you where you need to go, and that should be always be your first move, because that is what really makes this hack stand out. Exploration in hacks can often feel cumbersome, involving a lot of backtracking or finding major items in obscure locations, whereas Z-factor felt very much like the original game, but on a larger scale, and I mean that in the very best way. I guess the best praise I can give to this hack was that I felt like I did when I played the original Super Metroid for the first time, and for me, and a I'm sure many others who have played SM over and over again, this game satisfies that longing to experience SM like that again. Other hacks have been more ambitious, but doing something simple extremely well, as Z-factor does, often beats doing something complex at the expense of excellence, in my opinion. Whether you've beaten SM a few times, or know Zebes like the back of your hand, this game is for you. 9.5/10

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